If you grew up, as I did, in a household where you heard stories from the Bible, the phrase “cedars of Lebanon” has special meaning. They were trees used in building King Solomon’s temple.
That temple had the best of everything, so nothing but the best cedars would do. And the best cedars came from Lebanon. (1 Kings 5:6)
The cedar tree has a special place in the life and history of Lebanon, but now climate change, according to a beautifully constructed photo story in the New York Times, is killing those cedars.
Through five millenniums of recorded history, a parade of civilizations has praised the cedars of Lebanon — and then chopped them down. Lebanon has been deforested by Mesopotamians, Phoenicians and ancient Egyptians; by the Greek and Roman empires; by crusaders, colonizers and modern Middle East turmoil. Yet the trees are so symbolic of the country that a cedar stands at the center of the Lebanese flag.
Note: Here in Tennessee near the town of Lebanon, we have the Cedars of Lebanon State Park.
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